Japan All-Star Series: Game two


In the Tokyo Dome the MLB All-Stars and the Samurai Japan met each other for game two of the Japan All-Star Series.

You can imagine that Hisashi Iwakuma wanted to shine in his hometown Tokyo. But the pitcher of the Seattle Mariners did everything but shine. Though he got through the first inning relatively easy, he gave up three runs in the second inning. With two outs things looked prosperous but Nobuhiro Matsuda started a rally with a single to left field, followed by singles by Ginji Akaminai, HIkaru Itoh and a triple by Yuki Yanagita. The MLB squad answered when Evan Longoria got on base with a single, followed by a dinger hit by Justin Morneau.

Ben Zobrist led off the bottom of the third with a triple and scored on a 5-3 ground out hit by Jose Altuve.

In the fourth inning, with two outs and a runner on first, Hikaru Itoh singled to center field to put runners on the corners. Then Yuki Yanagita singled as well to drive in Nobuhiro Matsuda from third and to put runners on first and third again. Ryosuke Kikuchi eventually drove in the second run of the inning with a single to left field.

Samurai Japan scored another run in the sixth inning and added a couple more in the eighth. Nobuhiro Matsuda hit a lead off homerun in the eighth inning and Hiraku Itoh scored all the way from first on a double hit by Yuki Yanagita.

The MLB players scored one final run when Ben Zobrist was driven in from third by Robinson Cano to reach the final score of 8-4. Thanks to this win the Samurai Japan need one more victory to win this exhibition series.

Hisahi Iwakuma was hit hard with five runs on ten hits and was labeled with the loss. The Samurai Japan didn’t have mercy with the other Japanese player on the MLB All-Star squad. Tsuyoshi Wada surrendered two runs on two hits, walked one and struck out one.
Chihiro Kaneko (Orix Buffaloes) pitched five innings for the win. He allowed three runs on three hits, walked two and struck out five.

Best hitter for Samurai Japan was Yuki Yanagita with three hits out of four at bats with four runs batted in and a run scored.
Justin Morneau had the most impact for the MLB All-Star team, with one two RBI and one hit out of four at bats.

Yuki Yamagita: four RBI (photo: USA Today)

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